Smoking Outside

Smoking Outside

What happens when parents go outside to smoke? If parents completely ban smoking within the home, the nicotine byproducts in their baby’s urine are clearly reduced, according to a study in the August 2, 2003 British Medical Journal.

Even though this reduction is only slight, every little bit helps.

Most smoking parents understand that the smoke is harmful to their babies, causing SIDS, asthma, and other respiratory problems. Most parents have taken at least two steps to decrease the smoke around their baby, and most believe that the steps they are taking do reduce their baby’s tobacco exposure.

But only 18 percent of the smoking parents in the study actually ban smoking in the home. And the lesser measures that most parents use, such as smoking in a different room or only when the baby is not home, or opening windows, or using fans or air ionizers, result in very high levels of nicotine by-products in the baby.

I understand that stopping smoking is very difficult. Having a baby in the home is a wonderful time to give yourself (and your baby) the valuable gift of not-smoking. If someone in the family does smoke, however, consider making inside your home a smoke-free haven.

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.

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